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Arizona ends year on strong income and population growth

by Dalton Herring on December 20, 2016

Arizona’s population is poised to top 7 million people next year, based on average and highest growth rates since 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Added to that estimate, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports personal income in Arizona increased 1 percent in the third quarter this year over the second quarter.

The 1.7 percent population increase for 2016 over 2015 makes the state the eighth fastest-growing state in terms of percentage growth. In terms of the number of new residents, Arizona ranked fifth nationally, adding 114,000 newbies and taking the population to 6.9 million, compared to 6.8 million in 2015 and 6.4 million in 2010.

The Intermountain West and Pacific Rim states snagged eight of the top 10 growth positions in percentage growth and six of the top 10 states for number of new residents.

Arizona ranked No. 20 for personal income growth over last year gaining 3.8 percent in the last 12 months. In terms of wages, BEA said workers in the state gained 1.2 percent over the second quarter, just shy of the U.S. 1.3 percent wage gain in the same three-month period. Income from dividends, interest and rent, and transfer receipts both grew less than 1 percent in the same period.

Five of the top 10 personal income-growth states were in the West with gains of 4.2 percent and more.

Population growth

Even with 7 million 2017 residents, Arizona will still rank 14th in the nation in population. The Census data project to show that among the 20 most populous states, only Illinois will drop one slot to sixth, with Pennsylvania moving into the fifth position next year.

The District of Columbia (12.6 percent) and North Dakota (12.4 percent) had the fastest-growing populations in terms of percent increase between 2010 and 2016. Texas, Utah, Colorado, Florida and Nevada all grew faster than Arizona during that period, but less than 1.5 percent separates Arizona from Texas.

Personal income

Personal income growth slowed nationally from 1.2 percent in the second quarter over the first quarter, and Arizona dropped from 1.5 percent growth in the second quarter.

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